Council district population figures are unequal, but not drastically so, consultant says

The downtown Encinitas sign.
(Charlie Neuman / San Diego Union-Tribune/Zuma Pre)

Next public meeting on new district line proposals for Encinitas set for Jan. 20


The four districts that Encinitas is divided into for City Council elections don’t have equal populations, but they’re not drastically out of kilter, a city-hired consultant reports.

Federal Census data shows that three of the city’s four districts now have populations that are lower than the goal of 15,527 people in each district, while a fourth is higher than that figure, demographer Shannon Kelly from National Demographics Corp. told the City Council recently as she discussed the latest plans to redraw the district lines.

The three low areas are:

District 1, which is 221 people short of the target figure. It’s the Leucadia region of the city and it’s represented by Councilmember Tony Kranz.

District 2, which is 451 people short of the target figure. It’s in the city’s central coastal region — the Old Encinitas area — and it’s represented by Councilmember Kellie Shay Hinze.

District 4, which is 382 people short of the target. It covers the city’s eastern edges, including Olivenhain and parts of New Encinitas, and it’s represented by Councilmember Joe Mosca.

The other district, District 3, which mostly includes the city’s Cardiff region and is represented by Councilmember Joy Lyndes — exceeds the target figure by 1,053 people.

Cities can have their population figures slightly deviate from one district to the next. A total deviation figure of below 10 percent is considered “presumptively compliant” with Supreme Court case law, a city staff report states. Encinitas is approaching that figure — it’s at 9.69 percent, a National Demographics Corp. PowerPoint presentation indicates.

Even though Encinitas is below the state target, it still must conduct a formal redistricting process with multiple public hearings and opportunities for residents to propose new district boundaries because of recent changes in state law. The state’s Fair Maps Act of 2020 sets up a “somewhat different process and different substantive criteria” for creating districts than was used by Encinitas when it first established its district election system for City Council seats in 2017, the city staff report notes.

Because of this, the city is hosting a series of public hearings and is collecting district map designs from the community via an online link. To learn more about the process; get tips on how to design a district map that will comply with state standards; or submit a map proposal, visit

So far, there’s been “heavy” participation and some 40 map proposals have been submitted, city risk manager Jace Schwarm said during a recent public hearing on the redistricting issue. The various map submissions will be discussed during the council’s next redistricting public hearing Jan. 20, 2022.

City officials have set a goal of having the redistricting job done in mid-March, weeks before the April 17, 2022 deadline.